Russia i unique because it is the largest country in the world, spanning from Northern Asia to Eastern Europe. Its so big that its about one-eighth of the Earth's total inhabited area. It can also house a ton of people and is ninth-largest population in the world and largest in Europe. Moscow is the capital of the country, while St. Petersburg is the cultural centre. If you are planning to visit Russia on a stopover or multi-city flight here are some interesting facts you'll need to know
1. The surface area of Russia is almost equal to the surface area of Pluto
Russia is a transcontinental country the straddles both Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Russia has a surface area of more than 17 million square kilometres. Many believed Russia is larger than the planet Pluto as Pluto's surface area was around 16 million square kilometres. However, recent NASA findings proved that Pluto’s surface area is slightly larger than Russia’s.
2. The modern Russian flag first came to use in 1693
The current white, blue, and red-coloured flag of Russia first came to use during the Tsardom. However, this flag had the imperial coat of arms (the double-headed eagle) apart from the three colours. A different tri-colour flag came to use later with black on the top, yellow in the middle, and white on the bottom. Following the creation of the Soviet Union, a red flag with a golden hammer and sickle and star came to use. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the modern flag became the official flag of Russia.
3. Russia has major geographical flaws
Despite being the largest country in the world, Russia has several major disadvantages in its geography that affect the country in terms of economy and defence. Even though Siberia protects Russia from any invasion from the east, the Northern European plain allows for an easy invasions right up to Moscow. Also, Russia has no significant warm-water, ice-free ports with direct access to an ocean. This negatively affects the country’s economy.
4. The revolutionaries executed the entire Russian royal family
The house of Romanov was the imperial house of Russia from 1613 to 1917. They were the Tsar of Russia and later the Emperor of Russia when Russia became an empire in 1721. The last emperor of Russia was emperor Nicholas II. Communist revolutionaries executed Nicholas II, his wife, and their five children for crimes against the nation. The remains of the bodies were only founded in 1979 and 2007.
5. Most Russian dishes are eaten hot due to the country's cold weather
Russian cuisine is perhaps not internationally renowned compared to other European cuisines. But more and more people around the world are discovering it and appreciate its quality and taste. Most of the dishes served hot due to the climate of Russia. Borscht (beet soup), Solyanka (cabbage and vegetable soup), Pirozhki (puff pastries), Blinis (Russian pancake), and Shashlik (Russian Kebabs) are some dishes to try during a Russian stopover.
6. Russia has the coldest town in the world
Oymyakon is a village in central Siberia is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement on Earth. About 900 people are living in Oymyakon. The temperature can get as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. Schools are open if the temperature is higher than -55 Celsius.
7. Russia is home to the deepest lake on Earth
Lake Baikal in southern Siberia is the world’s deepest lake. The lake has a surface area of 31,000 square kilometres and a maximum depth of 1642 meters or 5387 feet. The lake is also the world's oldest lake, with an estimated 25 – 30 million years. Baikal is home to over 2500 species that can only be found there. In 1996, UNESCO declared the lake as a world heritage site to persevere its value.
8. Russians celebrate a holiday known as the Pancake week
Maslenitsa/the Pancake week is a popular holiday in Russia. Russians celebrate Pancake week each year before springtime to say goodbye to the long Russian winter. During the festive week, people only consume eggs, milk, and other dairy products; the main ingredients for pancakes. Today many countries with significant Russian immigrants celebrate the Maslenitsa festival.
9. Russia has a huge Alcohol problem
Alcohol consumption in Russia is one of the highest in the world. According to a WHO report, the annual per capita consumption of alcohol in Russia was about 15.76 litres. Alcoholism is causing huge economic and social concerns in the country, and the government is continuously taking action to minimize alcohol consumption in the country.
10. Russia’s population is declining
Despite being the ninth most populous country globally, the Russian population is continuously declining for nearly 30 years. One major reason for this trend is the second world was where USSR lost a mind-boggling 13.7% of its population. Besides that, the country's economic hardships during past decades have also been a factor